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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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5309. MISSOURI QUESTION, A Party trick.—
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5309. MISSOURI QUESTION, A Party trick.—

The Missouri question is a mere party
trick. The leaders of federalism, defeated in
their schemes of obtaining power by rallying
partisans to the principle of monarchism, a
principle of personal not of local division,
have changed their tack, and thrown out another
barrel to the whale. They are taking
advantage of the virtuous feelings of the people
to effect a division of parties by a geographical
line; they expect that this will insure
them, on local principles, the majority
they could never obtain on principles of federalism;
but they are still putting their
shoulder to the wrong wheel; they are wasting
Jeremiads on the miseries of slavery, as
if we were advocates for it. Sincerity in
their declamations should direct their efforts
to the true point of difficulty, and unite their
counsels with ours in devising some reasonable
and practicable plan of getting rid of it.
Some of these leaders, if they could attain
the power, their ambition would rather use
it to keep the Union together, but others have
ever had in view its separation. If they push
it to that, they will find the line of separation
very different from their 36° of latitude, and
as manufacturing and navigating States, they
will have quarreled with their bread and
butter, and I fear not that after a little trial
they will think better of it and return to the
embraces of their natural and best friends.
But this scheme of party I leave to those who
are to live under its consequences. We who
have gone before have performed an honest
duty, by putting in the power of successors a
state of happiness which no nation ever before
had within their choice. If that choice
is to throw it away, the dead will have
neither the power nor the right to control
To Charles Pinckney. Washington ed. vii, 180. Ford ed., x, 162.
(M. 1820)